10 Inspiring Travel Poems
Searching for the best poems about adventure and travel? We created this list featuring the best travel poems so that you can find the inspiration you’re looking for. These poems about travel are specifically written for travelers.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at these unique poems for travelers.
If Once You Have Slept On An Island
If once you have slept on an island
You’ll never be quite the same;
You may look as you looked the day before
And go by the same old name,
You may bustle about in street and shop;
You may sit at home and sew,
But you’ll see blue water and wheeling gulls
Wherever your feet may go.
You may chat with the neighbors of this and that
And close to your fire keep,
But you’ll hear ship whistle and lighthouse bell
And tides beat through your sleep.
Oh, you won’t know why, and you can’t say how
Such change upon you came,
But – once you have slept on an island
You’ll never be quite the same!
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Half across the world from me
Lie the lands I’ll never see-
I, whose longing lives and dies
Where a ship has sailed away;
I, that never close my eyes
But to look upon Cathay.
Things I may not know nor tell
Wait, where older waters swell;
Ways that flowered at Sappho’s tread,
Winds that sighed in Homer’s strings,
Vibrant with the singing dead,
Golden with the dust of wings.
Under deeper skies than mine,
Quiet valleys dip and shine.
Where their tender grasses heal
Ancient scars of trench and tomb
I shall never walk: nor kneel
Where the bones of poets bloom.
If I seek a lovelier part,
Where I travel goes my heart;
Where I stray my thought must go;
With me wanders my desire.
Best to sit and watch the snow,
Turn the lock, and poke the fire.
The Opportune Moment
When you go ashore in that town,
take neither a camera nor a notebook.
However many photographs you upload
of that street, the smell of almond paste
will be missing; the harbour will not sound
of wind slapping on chains. You will read
notes like “Sami church”, later, and know
you saw nothing, never put it where
you could find it again, were never
really there. When you go ashore
in the small port with the rusty trawlers,
there will be fur hawkers who all look
like Genghis Khan on a market stall,
crumbling pavements, roses frozen in bud,
an altar with wool hangings, vessels
like canal ware, a Madonna
with a Russian doll face. When you go
ashore, take nothing but the knowledge
that where you are, you never will be again.
I Want A Life Measured
I want a life measured
in first steps on foreign soils
and deep breaths
in brand new seas.
I want a life measured
in Welcome Signs,
with a different name,
borders marked with metal and paint.
Show me the streets
that don’t know the music
of my meandering feet,
and I will play their song
Perfume me please
in the smells of far away,
I will never wash my hair
if it promises to stay.
I want a life measured
in the places I haven’t gone,
short sleeps on long flights,
strange voices teaching me
new words to
describe the dawn.
Tyler Knott Gregson
Travel Poem (Untitled)
We’re all wayfaring travellers,
Trudging down our separate roads,
Hoping, wishing, praying,
Someone will come to share our load,
There’s sunburn on our shoulders,
And there are blisters on our feet,
We brave the wildest blizzards,
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And the scorching summer heat,
Sometimes we find somebody,
Who is going our way too,
And while they walk beside us,
The sky seems a bit more blue,
But all roads twist and turn,
And when you reach an intersection,
It’s likely life will take them,
In the opposite direction,
But don’t give up on hoping,
When your road is a dead end,
It’s likely that you’ll find,
It’s only really just a bend,
And though the other’s roads are different,
It doesn’t mean that yours is wrong,
So pick yourself back up again,
And just keep trudging on.
The Far North
I often wonder of the Tundra,
as I watch the plains go by.
Or I’ll dream of higher mountains
that almost seem to pierce the sky.
I yearn for vaster spaces
and for roaring, winding rivers.
Or of breezes rolling forward
that leave forests full of shivers.
I hear the voice of comfort
say I shouldn’t go alone
yet I’m pulled by tugs from elsewhere
that may someday be my home.
Questions Of Travel
There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.
Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?
I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow;–
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie,
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
Lonely Crusoes building boats;–
Where in sunshine reaching out
Eastern cities, miles about,
Are with mosque and minaret
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar;–
Where the Great Wall round China goes,
And on one side the desert blows,
And with the voice and bell and drum,
Cities on the other hum;–
Where are forests hot as fire,
Wide as England, tall as a spire,
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts
And the negro hunters’ huts;–
Where the knotty crocodile
Lies and blinks in the Nile,
And the red flamingo flies
Hunting fish before his eyes;–
Where in jungles near and far,
Man-devouring tigers are,
Lying close and giving ear
Lest the hunt be drawing near,
Or a comer-by be seen
Swinging in the palanquin;–
Where among the desert sands
Some deserted city stands,
All its children, sweep and prince,
Grown to manhood ages since,
Not a foot in street or house,
Not a stir of child or mouse,
And when kindly falls the night,
In all the town no spark of light.
There I’ll come when I’m a man
With a camel caravan;
Light a fire in the gloom
Of some dusty dining-room;
See the pictures on the walls,
Heroes fights and festivals;
And in a corner find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles
In Lijiang, the sign outside your hostel
glares: Ride alone, ride alone, ride
alone – it taunts you for the mileage
of your solitude, must be past
thousands, for you rode this plane
alone, this train alone, you’ll ride
this bus alone well into the summer night,
well into the next hamlet, town,
city, the next century, as the trees twitch
and the clouds wane and the tides
quiver and the galaxies tilt and the sun
spins us another lonely cycle, you’ll
wonder if this compass will ever change.
The sun doesn’t need more heat,
so why should you? The trees don’t need
to be close, so why should you?
Sally Wen Mao
Final Thoughts On Travel Poems
These poems for travelers are powerful and inspiring. We hope you enjoyed our list featuring the best adventure poems. Looking for more inspiration? Take a look at this list of travel expressions.